Mother charged with child abuse after burglary, crash in Manatee

MANATEE — A mother was charged with four counts of child abuse after she took her two children with her while she stole items and drove impaired before crashing into a vehicle, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Jennifer G. Cunigan, 34, and her boyfriend, Justin Reynolds, 24, allegedly took a ladder and saw Tuesday from a property in the 7600 block of 41st Avenue East, according to the report.

A woman witnessed the couple taking the items. When she told them she was calling deputies, they entered a 2000 Kia and took off. The woman followed and contacted authorities on her cell phone.

Cunigan’s children, ages 9 and 10, were in the rear seat unbuckled. She reached speeds of 50 mph on 44th Avenue Place East. Cunigan continued driving and crossed over in the wrong lane onto the shoulder of the road and struck a man’s vehicle. He attempted to get out of her way.

She kept driving through private yards for another 200 to 300 yards, according to the report.She was stopped by Deputy Rebecca Blue Angel.

Cunigan remained in jail Thursday night facing charges of burglary, larceny, leaving the scene of a crash and driving under the influence. She was later arrested on warrants out of Sarasota. Her bond totaled $12,740.

Reynolds was charged with larceny and burglary. He also remained in jail on a $8,500 bond.